Over the past few seasons, Antonio Brown’s off-field struggles have been a major deterrent for NFL franchises. Midway through the 2020 season though, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to take a shot on the controversial but talented wideout.
Whether it’s fair or not, AB has certainly gained the reputation as a “locker room cancer” in recent years. But, according to Bucs’ defensive end Ndamukong Suh, the former Steelers wide receiver was exactly the opposite during Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl season.
The star defender had some strong words of praise for his fellow 2010 NFL draftee.
“I’ve known AB for a long time… same draft class and everything,” Suh said on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, Club Shay Shay. “Good dude. I’ve always had great relationships with him… [Bruce Arians] was very public with what his expectations were for AB, and he followed through — so I give him all the credit for doing that.”
"Antonio Brown followed through, so I give him all the credit for doing that." pic.twitter.com/USWg5x5did
— Club Shay Shay (@ClubShayShay) February 25, 2021
After playing just one game with the New England Patriots in 2019, Brown was hit with an eight game suspension for committing multiple NFL personal conduct violations. That suspension carried well into the 2020 season.
Joining Tampa Bay midway through the year, Brown played eight regular season games (four starts) with his new squad — notching 483 yards and four touchdowns. His contributions in the fifth-seeded Bucs’ playoff run were also solid — adding 81 yards and two touchdowns (one in the Super Bowl LV victory).
Signing a one-year, $1.6 million deal before joining the Bucs, Brown’s contract is set to expire this offseason. But, it seems the comeback wideout may have endeared himself to the franchise enough to secure an extension.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt. He’s back up to his normal playing speed and making plays,” Arians said in late January, via CBS Sports. “He’s a different threat for us.”
Let’s see if AB can make a return to his once-great form.